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38 Fam. & Concil. Cts. Rev. 3 (2000)

handle is hein.journals/fmlcr38 and id is 1 raw text is: 





EDITORIAL NOTES


   This is the first issue of FCCR for a new volume and a new millennium-
an especially appropriate time to celebrate the past and anticipate the future.


            FCCR'S   EDITORIAL MISSION: LOOKING
                   BACKWARD AND FORWARD

   A reaffirmation and description of FCCR's editorial mission is an appro-
priate place to begin the new century. FCCR is the academic and research
journal of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) and
supports AFCC's  goal of promoting constructive resolution of family con-
flict through interdisciplinary cooperation with family courts and affiliated
services. AFCC  has always been focused on an entire range of disputes that
reach family courts. Much of AFCC's  work  in recent years, however, has
been on improvement  of the resolution of divorce and custody disputes asso-
ciated with divorce. As a result, most (not all) of the articles in FCCR have
been focused on subjects related to those disputes-mediation, parent educa-
tion, joint custody, and custody evaluations.
   AFCC   members  can be proud of the progress they have made in helping
construct a more humane divorce and child custody dispute resolution sys-
tem. To demonstrate how  much  progress has been made, it helps to think
about how  different the child custody dispute resolution process is today as
compared  to, say, 1980. In 1980, court-affiliated educational programs for
divorcing families barely existed. Today, 45 states have enacted legislation of
court rules authorizing courts to require parents to attend education programs
as part of the divorce process.' In 1980, mediation of custody disputes was
rare. A 1995 count by the National Center for State Courts, in contrast, esti-
mated  that 200 court-connected mediation programs existed in 38 states,
with 33 states having court rules or statutes mandating mediation in child
custody disputes.2 Substantive legal doctrine has also undergone what two
commentators  called a small revolution . . . in child custody law since
1980-enactment   of custody statutes that put a value on maintaining a child's
relationship with both parents after divorce, a radical break with the sole cus-
tody framework.3 Maintaining those relationships has become as important a
goal of public policy as providing stability for the child through sole cus-

FAMILY AND CONCILIATION COURTS REVIEW, Vol. 38 No. 1, January 2000 3-9
0 2000 Sage Publications, Inc.


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